Pakistan banking agents cheat Indians

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New Delhi: Indian security agencies have unearthed a major racket being operated by Pakistan-based organisations to cheat Indians through a network of their local operatives, who would open accounts with various banks in which the gullible victims would be lured to deposit substantial amount.

Even as intelligence agencies are busy sifting through details of more than 1,000 bank accounts, sources said, the amount could run into hundreds of crores by the time the investigations into the racket are completed.

“Investigations so far have revealed that Pak-based outfits used at least 1,162 accounts of their associates based in India to defraud gullible victims in the country over the years, though the number could be much higher. These accounts belong to 16 banks in India, including public sector banks,” said a senior intelligence official.

Top intelligence sources said operatives based in Pakistan are using an elaborate ‘telephone-bank-hawala structure’ to defraud unsuspecting Indians. The gullible victims are asked to deposit ‘processing charges’ into an indicated bank account in order to claim the cash prize of a big lottery. Indian associates also hire such bank accounts from small depositors for a small monthly rent and earn adequate commission, sources said.

State-wise segregation of these bank accounts clearly shows a preference for north Indian states, with Bihar (30 per cent), West Bengal (18 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (13.5 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (11 per cent) having most number of accounts, they added.

Intelligence sources claimed that the investigations are being conducted to ascertain whether this money was also being siphoned to fund terror activities.

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